A mysterious disease has caused the death of 7 people and hospitalized 59 others in the city of Bouaké in central Côte d’Ivoire, according to medical and local sources reported by “Agence France-Presse” on Monday.
A source at the Bouaké University Hospital stated that 7 people have died so far as a result of this disease, with 5 of them passing away in the hospital and the other two in the village of Niangban, south of the city.
The source added, “We have a total of 59 people receiving treatment at the hospital, the majority of whom are children, with some teenagers among them.”
The source also confirmed that the type and source of this disease are still unknown, with notable symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.
Emmanuel Kwame N’Guessan, from several villages in Niangban, mentioned that those who died ranged in age from 5 to 12 years old and added that about 50 people were transported to the university hospital for treatment.
A nurse was quoted on Sunday as saying, “Children are dying.”
Celestin Kouadio Koffi, a close associate of the village mayor, stated that many residents believe the disease was caused by dishes made from contaminated corn with bacteria.
According to Zitanik Amoin Yao, the mother of the first child who died from the disease, her son fell ill after she purchased this food and gave it to him.
She explained, “After her 3-year-old son ate the food, he developed diarrhea and then began vomiting when she gave him the medicine they had given her at the Guebono Hospital. We returned to the hospital, and they asked us to go to the university hospital in Bouaké, where he died.”
Agnes Aya Konan also lost her daughter but refuses to blame her death on the food or the seller, stating that “her other children ate the same food on Sunday and nothing happened to them.”
In February of last year, two people in another village near Bouaké were sentenced to 5 years in prison after the “Clostridium” bacteria caused the death of 16 people according to an official tally, and 21 people according to residents.